Mzuzu hoards food, shops emptied

By Andrew Nyayah, Nyasa Times

Many residents in the townships of Zolozolo, Chiputula, Msasa, Chibavi, Ching’ambo had by Monday and Tuesday ensured that they had many of the basic food stuffs and accessories in anticipation of the August 17 mass demonstrations, Nyasa Times established.

A spot survey by Nyasa Times also found out that even maize mill operators in some townships worked beyond normal hours because of many women processing their maize flours.

“I just have to sure that I have enough… because you don’t know how the demonstrations will end this time,” said Mrs Mwalanda in Zolozolo on Monday.

Mwalanda also said she has already stocked relish to last a week.

Streets are quit

“We were given a week’s holiday and got our August pay. That is why I am also buying some groceries. You never know how these things will end,” said a worker for a Chinese shop on Tuesday morning.

But civil society organisations in Malawi announced the call off of the much-anticipated and widely publicised August 17 national vigils citing a court injunction issued to stop them and because of United Nations mediation efforts.

“After a long discussion and thoughts yesterday involving the CSOs organisers, Malawi Human Rights Commission, the police and the UN team visiting Malawi we have decided to postpone the demonstrations on a number of factors,” said Undule Mwakasungura another member of the vigils’ organisers.

Since last week Mzuzu has been awash with Police patrols and Intelligence Officers trawling the length and breath of the city, some on unmarked cars, while some on foot.

By Tuesday many of the Chinese and Indian shops at the Central Business District did not open for business as they had shifted all goods to unknown warehouses.

This is despite the fact they had reinforced security by sealing windows with flat iron sheets and burglar bars.

Even at the famous Taifa market many traders had used taxis during Monday night to shift their goods to their houses. The Taifa market is composed of stalls made from discarded planks called (vigwagwa) hence vulnerable to fire and thieves.

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